Compassion doesn't equal indulgence. Compassion to oneself is not a license to eat the whole tub of ice cream or splurge on retail therapy at the mall.
This inquiry delves into our personal suffering and misfortune. No one gets out of this life unscathed. For eons, humanity struggled to stay alive long enough to see the next generation survive into adulthood. Life was brutal. A rape victim was told to get over it; this is a part of life, and you have work to do.
Most in the Western world have the means to survive and can now attend to the whole person. Unfortunately, the voices in our head can be our worst enemy.
Have you given yourself sufficient time to grieve the death of someone close to you? Whether sudden or a drawn out process, this death, separation, and memories flood our minds in the most surprising ways. Accepting the new normal takes time and living to adjust. Changing status to a widow, single parent, or orphan can take years.
Do you give yourself space to heal? Regardless of the trauma source, either internal or external, a place to recover relieves the pressure to deny the thinking and feelings that sweep over us when hurt. Pain hides in dark corners and until light reveals what lurks in the shadows; this painful enemy will undermine healing and disrupt plans for wellness.
How do you process your failures? The hot Silicon Valley phrase "fail fast" is an invaluable tool to understand what product changes the market demands. Failure is not always quick and often heartbreaking when we pour out our life, only to see the work go up in flames. When our business, marriage, relationships, or dreams fall apart, we must generously extend compassion to the face in the mirror.
Each of these examples has significant implications on how we encounter the world. We are not running from the black plague or living on pennies a day. We have the privilege to invest the resources of compassion in ourselves to mourn death, heal hurts, and learn from failures. What recovery tools do you use; counseling, friendship, laughter, prayer, exercise, meditation, reading, others?
How are you today?
Going Further: Where do you need to extend the gift of compassion? What is one step you will take?